The activity of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Fatebenefratelli and Ophthalmic Hospital began thirty-five years ago and over this period has gradually expanded. The integration between different specialists inside the Division has over a period of time been perfected and refined into an atmosphere of interdisciplinary cooperation.
- Day Hospital Unit (9 beds, 5 armchairs)
- Oncology Ward (15 beds)
- Cytostatic Drugs Manipulation Unit
- Ultrasound Unit
- Pain Management Outpatient Unit
- Psycho-Oncology Unit
- Hospice (8 rooms)
- Home Care Assistance
- Research Unit
- ONLUS (Association Project Oncology UMAN.A)
The Department is structured over 4 floors, providing oncologic and palliative care for patients. It is well equipped with all the facilities needed for the diagnosis, administration of chemotherapy, biological targeted therapy and supportive care.
In the Day Hospital Unit, there are 2 oncologists and 6 staff nurses to assist patients undergoing chemotherapy, biological therapy, hydratation, blood transfusions, parenteral nutrition, medications or biopsies, thoracentesis and paracentesis. All the treatments used are prepared in the Cytostatic Drugs Manipulation Unit.
In the Oncology Ward patients are either in a diagnostic phase, receiving chemotherapy or need supportive care. The patients are followed by 2 oncologists and a staff composed of 13 nurses and 1 ward sister.
Patients undergoing ambulatorial treatments or follow-up are visited in the Ambulatory by 6 oncologists.
Through the years the Department has improved the interdisciplinary cooperation within the Supportive and Palliative Care Unit, which was created inside the Department: here palliative care specialists work closely with the oncologists and share in- and out-patients. Two psychologists specialised in psychoanalytic psychotherapy offer psychological assistance to patients and their relatives. Terminal patients who are no longer benefiting from anticancer treatments, continue to be followed at home by the Home Care Assistance Unit (created in 1994).
The staff members, consisting of two physicians, one coordinator nurse and four nurses, are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to assist patients at home, providing control of symptoms, giving support to family members and when possible, giving health and orthopaedic devices. Terminal patients who cannot manage at home, are hospitalised in the Hospice. Where, one palliative care specialist, one ward sister, 8 nurses, 6 healthcare workers and a chaplain operate.
Through the Research Unit (composed by four oncologists, one palliative care specialist, one nurse, one bio-statistic, two study coordinators, one pharmacist and one psychologist), many national and international trials around supportive care are carried out in the Department.
Through the 25 volunteers of the Association Project Oncology UMAN, a project realised to offer tools to help cancer patients and their families to cope with the disease.The multidisciplinary team is made up of:
- 15 oncologists
- 2 haematologists
- 34 nurses
- 3 palliative care specialists
- 3 psychologists
- 1 psychiatrist
- 2 study coordinators
- 1 pharmacist
- 1 bio-statistician
- 10 healthcare workers
- 1 chaplain
- 25 volunteers
The principal tumours treated are: breast, colon, stomach, lung, pancreas, kidney, brain and bladder cancers. Leukaemia and others haematological malignancies are also treated.
Cancer patients are managed within a multidisciplinary approach, involving all the professional staff of the Oncology Department.
Palliative and supportive care
In the Department, specialists of the Supportive and Palliative Care interact with each other by weekly meetings, in which clinical cases are discussed. The patients are cared for at the same time by all the specialists, who also share all the written practical protocols in use (e.g. pain, nutrition, oral hygiene, infectious disease management, bowel occlusion, etc.). Our palliative care specialists participate to the COSD (Comitato Ospedale Senza Dolore – Pain free Hospital) project, promoted by Lombardy Region Bureau.
The Home care assistance obtained the Joint Commission Accreditation in 2009.